FIRST EVER JAPANESE YOUTH TEAM COMPETES IN BERMUDA

Kaijin Team Japan. Skippered by Ibuki Koizumi with team mates Hajime Kokumai, Timothy Morishima, Federico Sampei, Simon Suzuki, Leonard Takahashi, Mikiya Tsuji and Shota Usami. The Red Bull Youth America's Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda on June 15, 2017 // Mark Lloyd / ACEA / Red Bull Content Pool  // P-20170615-00329 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information

KAIJIN TEAM JAPAN LOOKS TO ADVANCE TO NEXT STAGE OF RED BULL YOUTH AMERICA'S CUP

The next generation of Japanese America's Cup sailors are being put through the gauntlet that is the Red Bull Youth America's Cup this week, racing against 11 other team's from around the world.

Made up of Japanese youth, the multi-disciplined team has been based in Bermuda for the past 6 months, learning and training alongside SoftBank Team Japan with the hopes of making a big statement for Japanese sailing on the world stage.

The first day of qualifying on Thursday saw the team nail several of the starts, but the fickle light winds played havoc with the fleet resulting in the team positioned at the back of the fleet going into Friday's racing.

Three qualifying races scheduled for Friday afternoon will give the Japanese team their last chance at making it through to the finals.

"SoftBank Team Japan is proud to support the next generation of Japanese sailors", said SoftBank Team Japan General Manager, Kazuhiko Sofuku.

SoftBank Team Japan Grinder, Yuki Kasatani, agreed with Sofuku's enthusiasm as he watched Kaijin Team Japan from on the water yesterday.

"From generation to generation we must pass on the skills we've developed and the Red Bull Youth America's Cup is a great way to support young sailors", said Kasatani.

"They have our full support so the flame of the Japanese challenge doesn't end."

To cheer on and follow along Kaijin Team Japan in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup, be sure to follow them on the team's FACEBOOK PAGE.